More people are opting for travel agents when booking vacations than before the pandemic

(WXYZ) – If a staycation isn’t your idea of ​​a summer vacation, but rising prices are squeezing your budget, your best bet might be to go through a travel agent.

With the rising prices of airline tickets and hotels, more and more people are using travel agencies to save a few dollars.

Denise Butts became a travel agent several years ago. She gets more and more calls from people she doesn’t know.

Jill Jones, a travel concierge for Cadillac Travel in Southfield, is also answering more calls.

“You know, for years people thought travel agencies were like dinosaurs, like, ‘Oh, is there a travel agent?’ And yeah, I think we’re back,” Jones said with a laugh.

The two women say that more and more people are realizing what travel agents can offer, such as promotional codes, supplier discounts, additional perks, and more.

“A travel agency has a reservation system that shows this all-in-one screen, every airline, every bucket of inventory. So you might be asking for 12 noon on Thursday, but an agent can tell you what, 5am on Thursday is cheaper. Are you flexible? said Jones.

We can find those deals that they couldn’t find on their own because of the vendors our agency works with,” Butts added.

Last year, The New York Times reported that a flash poll conducted by the American Society of Travel Advisors found that 76% of travel advisors saw an increase in customer numbers in 2021 compared to before the pandemic. 80% heard from travelers who had never worked with a travel consultant before.

“What are the best destinations for people trying to vacation on a budget?” I asked

“Mexico is a good place to do good business right now. The Dominican Republic, of course, and Bali are having some really good specials right now,” Butts said.

“Mexico has always been huge. And the reason is huge is that they are extremely price competitive,” Jones added.

Their suggestions if you want to save on airfare or hotels? Be flexible with your arrival and departure dates, consider all-inclusive vacations, and consider cruises.

Butts said if you’re on a tight budget, airfordable.com lets you book a flight with an upfront payment and a service fee, with the rest paid in installments as a layaway for those who want an affordable getaway. .

The two ladies say that if you really want to find the best deals on airfare, you need to plan ahead. Try at least six to 12 months in advance, and airlines open their inventory 331 days in advance, so start looking well in advance.

About Elizabeth Smith

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